IAAI President Peter Mansi welcomed everyone to the International Association of Arson Investigators 66th International Training Conference in Chicago, Illinois this past week, May 18th – 22nd. Around 600 attendees were on hand for a great schedule of classes during the week. Approximately 40 of those attendees were from Central America countries requiring translation throughout the week. CCAI Director Robert Rullan gave a presentation on “CSI” as part of the training as well as assisting with the translation needs of the students.
On opening day, CCAI’s 1st VP, Dale Feb, taught a four-hour class titled “Hearth Products Ignition Source or First Fuel Ignited”. CCAI Member Steve Carmen taught two two-hour classes; “Math for Fire Investigators” and “Elevated Fire Origin Research”. CCAI Member John DeHaan joined up with Instructors Chris Connealy and Kelly Kistner in presenting “Arson Convictions: Reviewing the Science – The Texas Experience”. Jamie and Cameron Novak were on hand to set things on fire in "Burn to Learn". Rounding out the week was Mike Bryant teaching "Investigative Interviewing for Fire Investigations. Many other instructors joined in the training and in all, four separate tracks of education were presented throughout the weeklong conference.
CCAI President Eric Emmanuel represented the CCAI Chapter at the “Presidents Reception” on Sunday night, again during “Opening Ceremonies” on Monday Morning, at the “Chapters Presidents Luncheon” on Tuesday, during the IAAI “Annual General Meeting” on Tuesday afternoon and at the “Awards and Installation Banquet” on Tuesday night. He was seen throughout the week engaging different individuals in conversations and promoting CCAI.
IAAI hosted a Vendor Room where approximately 30 different companies set up display booths and provided valuable information to the attendees. A very active Spousal Program visited some of the many sights and attractions that Chicago has to offer. Monday was spent at the Local Boutiques and Hummel Museum. On Tuesday, the highlight of the week, they visited the Chicago Fire Academy and Fire Museum. Wednesday and Thursday were spent exploring many of the hot spots around the “Windy City” including the Navy Pier, Sky Deck Chicago, Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate Sculpture, Art Institute Museum, Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. The week included lunches at the Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, and many of Chicago’s authentic hot dog and pizza restaurants. Before departure on Friday, the group held a farewell breakfast at the hotel. Approximately 28 people participated in the Spousal Program.
During the IAAI “Annual General Meeting”, elections were held. Dan Heenan (Nevada) was sworn in as President, George Codding (Colorado) was sworn in as 1st VP and Scott Bennett (Ohio) was elected as 2nd VP. Darrell Sanders (Louisiana), William T. Moreland (Florida) and Kevin Crawford (Colorado), Chris Van Vleet (Kansas) were elected to the serve three-year terms on the IAAI Board of Directors. Joe Sesniak (Arizona) was elected to serve a three-year term on the IAAI Foundation Board of Directors, and David Snead (Texas) was reelected as president of the Foundation. Immediately following the election, nominations were opened for 2016. CCAI Board Member Robert Rullan was nominated to run for a Director Position next year.
CCAI members Troy Morrison, Jim Allen, Kathryn Varner, Don Perkins, Dennis Fields, Bill Kilpatrick and his wife Debbie, Tom Fee and others made a great showing for California Chapter 22.
This past Friday, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gharda USA, Inc. and Gharda Chemicals, Ltd. v. Control Solutions, Inc., United Phosphorus, Inc., and Mark Boyd; a case that will provide defendants with additional ammunition to attack subrogation claims involving fire losses.
The Gharda case involves a warehouse fire with a complex causation theory involving testimony from several experts, including two fire investigators, two chemists, and an electrical engineer. The fire investigators based their opinions on the opinions of the two chemists.
This recall involves Kaldi’s Coffee disposable paper cup sleeves used with 12- and 16-ounce paper cups. The black paper cup sleeves have the “Kaldi’s Coffee” and the company logo printed on the front, and “100% Recycled Paperboard” printed on the back.
Read the full article at CPSC
In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.
NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations plays a fundamental role in fire and explosion investigations. A new edition of NFPA 921 is scheduled to be published in 2014. For years, this document has played a critical role in the training, education and job performance of fire and explosion investigators. It also serves as one of the primary references used by the National Fire Academy to support its fire/arson-related training and education programs. It is imperative that investigators understand the scope, purpose and application of this document, especially since it will be used to judge the quality and thoroughness of their investigations.
SAN DIEGO - A Team 10 and Scripps News investigation found arson fires are not investigated properly in many American cities -- including San Diego -- due to a chaotic patchwork of reporting systems and standards.
Many deliberately set building fires are not reported to the federal government.
Nationally, just 5 percent of all residential building fires are intentionally set, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Data collected by Scripps News suggests the national arson rate to be significantly higher.
Contra Costa County Fire Protection District
Late on Friday April 6th, 62 year old Walnut Creek resident Brent Robert Kastroff wasarrested by Contra Costa County Fire District Investigators and the Walnut Creek Police Department at his home in the community of Rossmoor.
In January of this year, Fire Investigators received information about a small fire that occurred on private property on Vista Del Valle in Lafayette. The property is a large parcel that contains 3 homes, but the majority of the 90 acres is grass covered land that even when maintained can still pose a wildfire threat to nearby homes and residents due to it’s size and topography. The investigation lead to the discovery of a previously unreported fire in May of 2011 in the same area; however there were no leads in either incident.
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